- Industry Veteran to Join 25-Year-Old Bakery Brand -
ATLANTA, Ga. (October 20, 2010) – Cinnabon, Inc., the market leader among cinnamon roll bakeries with more than 770 locations worldwide, announced today that Kat Cole has been named Chief Operating Officer. The former Vice President of Training and Development for Hooters of America, Inc. will join Cinnabon to lead the 25-year old franchise organization in achieving maximum Guest satisfaction, efficiency and growth.
“Kat’s ability to connect with people, both inside and outside the restaurant, makes her the perfect leader to evoke the kind of strategic growth, product and brand innovation that will make Cinnabon’s next 25 years an even sweeter success,” said Cinnabon President Gary Bales.
Added parent company FOCUS Brands CEO Russ Umphenour, “The first word that came to mind when I met Kat was ‘dynamic’. She is a leader and a relationship-builder, and her tremendous experience and proven abilities will make her a stellar addition to the Cinnabon and FOCUS Brands teams.”
A results-oriented executive at Hooters of America, Inc. for 15 years, Kat played a key role in research, strategy and integration for non-traditional brand extensions and profitable revenue building initiatives. She has opened and supported restaurant operations on several continents, been instrumental in creating business and leadership development opportunities and has led industry-recognized customer service, diversity and philanthropic programs. In addition, Kat has successfully created highly-disciplined teams and innovative cost-effective training and development programs that contributed to increased sales, profits, retention and growth, leading to over 460 restaurants in 29 countries.
“Cinnabon is a unique and compelling brand that has captured the hearts (and taste buds) of people around the world,” commented Kat. “I am fortunate to have been given unique leadership and learning opportunities within a globally growing brand, and after getting to know the FOCUS Brands and Cinnabon teams, I knew this was the right place for me to share my knowledge. I look forward to contributing to the strategic and profitable growth of Cinnabon’s Franchise Partners, and I am honored to work with such a world-class franchise organization.”
Kat currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA), serves on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) and the Certification Governing Board for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), and has led various committees and projects in the foodservice and hospitality industries. Recognized repeatedly in the restaurant industry with such awards as the WFF’s Volunteer of the Year and the Elliot Leadership Institute’s Motivator of the Year, Kat is also an avid volunteer with organizations that support women and children in need and fighting hunger and homelessness in the U.S. and various developing nations.
Founded in Seattle in 1985 and now based in Atlanta, Cinnabon, Inc. is the market leader among cinnamon roll bakeries. The company serves fresh, aromatic, oven-hot cinnamon rolls and cupcakes, as well as a variety of other baked goods and specialty beverages. Cinnabon currently operates more than 770 franchised locations worldwide, primarily in high traffic venues such as shopping malls, airports, train stations, travel plazas, entertainment centers, academic institutions and military establishments. Visit www.cinnabon.com for more information, follow us on Twitter @CinnabonInc or become a Facebook fan at http://www.facebook.com/Cinnabon.